Romney raises $15-20 million, leads Republican cash race

WASHINGTON Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:06pm EDT

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks at the first New Hampshire debate of the 2012 campaign at St. Anselms College in Manchester, New Hampshire June 13, 2011. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks at the first New Hampshire debate of the 2012 campaign at St. Anselms College in Manchester, New Hampshire June 13, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is expected to report raising between $15 million and $20 million in campaign cash for the quarter ending on Thursday, a campaign aide said, a sum that far outpaces rivals.

Romney's dominance in the money race stems from his relentless campaigning and fund-raising since he lost a presidential bid in 2008. In addition, several of his rivals have only just entered the race.

Aides to rival Jon Huntsman, who formally announced his candidacy on June 21, said on Thursday he had taken in about $4 million in recent weeks, with a bit less than half coming from his own pockets.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, is the front-runner in the Republican race to replace President Barack Obama in the 2012 election. He leads most polls of party rivals and has more than enough money to stay competitive.

"He is raising money far more quickly than he can spend effectively, especially in Iowa and New Hampshire where retail politics is important," said Georgetown University government professor Clyde Wilcox.

Romney rivals like Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty must raise enough to remain competitive, he said.

"If you don't have enough money, volunteers and fund-raisers may start wandering," he said, adding that "enough" may be a matter of surpassing expectations.

The second-quarter figures have not been officially released for the campaigns.

Some outside experts had predicted Romney would raise between $20 million and $30 million, especially after a one-day haul of $10 million last month.

A senior Romney adviser said the totals are in line with what they planned, but also cited "economic headwinds," which could depress fund-raising.

BACHMANN UP, PAWLENTY DOWN

Meanwhile, Pawlenty is struggling in the polls and being overshadowed by the entry of rising Tea party star Michele Bachmann into the race.

"She's clearly stealing oxygen from him in terms of Iowa," University of Minnesota professor Larry Jacobs said.

Pawlenty's advisers have been trying to downplay expectations since the former Minnesota governor entered the race.

"Our numbers are going to be respectable but it's not going to blow (anything) out of the water," said Ray Washburne, national finance chair for Pawlenty's operations in Texas.

Bachmann, a conservative member of the House of Representatives, is an adroit fundraiser. Her congressional committee out-raised all of her House colleagues during 2010, with a $13.5 million haul.

The campaign to re-elect Obama had a goal of raising $60 million, between the campaign and an account at the Democratic National Committee, in the quarter ending on Thursday.

In addition to Romney's official figures, a new so-called Super political action committee created by former Romney aides is said to have pulled in at least $10 million, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

These are a new form of political action committee created after a federal court decision last year allowed unlimited contributions from corporations and unions to independent political committees.

(Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Todd Melby; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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Comments (4)
abbydelabbey wrote:
Once again a rich man trying to buy his way into the White House….

Jun 30, 2011 4:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Huck_Finn wrote:
@abbydelabbey:

You misspoke. It should have said, “Once again, a strong candidate receiving lots of support, and thus lots of donations.”

That is more accurate!

We need a candidate who has the experience and knowledge to fix this economy. Nobody can compare with Romney’s experience. With a strong economy, we have the flexibility to solve our social and international problems. But we need someone who can fix the economy first.

We need a strong economy! We need a strong president! We need Romney!

Jun 30, 2011 7:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Kuji wrote:
Na, she didn’t misspeak.

If he were to take office all the “tricks” to spur growth have been done. Over and over. For a few years now. Taxes are at historic lows and interest rates have been from zero to under a percent for some time now. It doesn’t get any cheaper to borrow and build your business or spend into the economy right now; however, this type of vital growth is not happening at the rate voters expect. So what new ideas does Romney have that will make a Strong Economy in a short period of time that the American People and American Private Sector demand?

Something about lower taxes and siphoning money out of the Federal Budget and piling responsibilities to the states?

Yawn. Sounds like more status-quo to me.

abbydelabbey hit the right note – just another rich guy trying to be president (so history will remember his name). If Peter Diamond a Nobel Prize laureate in economics and “authority on tax policy and social security” wasn’t qualified to be on the Federal Reserve board according to Senate Republicans, then Romney sure isn’t going to be the one to fix the economy. His expertise is in Leveraged Finance and being unemployed for the past 4 years – not Tax Policy, Social Security or Monetary Economics.

I don’t even see a difference between Obama and Romney when it comes to handling the economy. As Governor, Romney inherited a state economy that was bleeding jobs and left office with sluggish growth.

Obama inherited a national economy that was bleeding jobs and we are half way through his first term with sluggish growth.

Maybe there is actually very little these men can do in regards to creating a strong economy? And to claim that he can fix it is a farce? I think so.

Jun 30, 2011 12:54am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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